12-6-01CAMPS ARE COMFORTABLE
Contractors Have Made Their Camps Secure Against the
SOME GENERAL RAILROAD NEWS
The C. M. & St. P. to increase the Speed of trains
Have Ordered Big EnginesRailroad Commissioners Report
These bleak December days that the people of this vicinity are
experiencing sometimes make one think of how the railroad men,
who are working at the camps below the city, are fixed for the
chilly blasts of winter. But no one need worry over that point,
as the contractors who have charge of these camps know how to
combat the cold. The buildings in which the men and horses are
kept are all made of boards, that are put up in a rough manner,
then caulked up tight. They were covered with a heavy building
paper, that keeps out the wind. The men have banked them up for
a foot or so, in such a way as to keep the cold from getting
beneath the floors of the building. In this manner, and with
good stoves and plenty of fuel the army of laborers will live
as comfortably as could be expected under the circumstances.
The contracting firm of McDougall and Yale have had big contracts
in Montana and Wyoming, and even in that very cold section, their
camps have been made very comfortable for the winter season.
Plenty of Time to Prepare
On account of the pleasant weather throughout November, these
contractors have had plenty of time to get their camps in the
best of shape. The work also is farther along than they had
realized it would be at this time. Considerable work will be done
this winter, and when spring opens up, the work will be pushed with
renewed vigor all along the line from Davenport to Ottumwa.
Big Engines for Milwaukee
The C. M. & St. P. has been having a few visions of speed in its
own head, since the stories of the Northwestern and C. B. & A.
speed have begun to be in-circulation. The Milwaukee has contracted
for nine high speed passenger engines of the Atlantic
type with seven foot drive wheels, double truck, trailing wheel
under firebox. The water tanks will have a capacity of 7,000
galIons. These engines are built for strength and speed and can
seventy-five miles an hour regularly, day in and day out, the year round.
12-11-01THE NEW STATIONS
None Have Been Established As Yet On The
MAYBE ONE WEST OF IA. RIVER.
Senator G. M. Titus Has Been Out For
a Number of Weeks Securing Options
Plan of the CompanyWork Progressing.
So far nothing can be given in a definite way regarding
the location of the stations to be established between Muscatine
and Ottumwa on the new line of the Milwaukee Road.
This has been one of the important questions that has interested
the people all along the line, and it is a matter in
which considerable secrecy has to be kept, on account of the
farmers raising the price of the land, near where the railroad
is contemplating locating a town site. It is surprising the
remarkable raise that has occurred in the value of land, where
some man thinks the railroad is thinking of putting in a
A Big Task.
Senator Titus has had a task on his hands the past few
weeks of no mean proportions. The only definite report
made so far is the conditions in Muscatine. It seems it did
not take long for a report to be made in this direction. It is
also given out on good authority that there will be one station
between Muscatine and Conesville. This will probably be
somewhere near the Richard Milholin place or on the Isaac
Lee place, but the question is not really settled in the mind
of the company. The railroad company by means of their
plats and drawings of the territory through which the railroad
is passing have practically determined where they want the
stations, and how many they want, but they are not letting the
public know the secret.
McDougall and Yale Now Have Two Steam Shovels
on the Work
YALE DID NOT KNOW METTOCK
May have worked there but Men Constantly Change
Past Time Out of Chicago StoppedRailroad Interests
The contracting firm of McDougall & Yale have placed another
steam shovel on their work southwest of the city and are pushing
things in that direction. The first shovel they had working
is one that they purchased new from the Bucyrus Company of
South Milwaukee, Wis. and was brought here and put right to
work. This shovel has been up at the top of the hill not far
from the Adam Wigim farm buildings and on the land formerly
owned by him. Here a large fill has been made and thousands
of yards of dirt removed.
But this enterprising contracting firm came to the realization
of the fact that in order to complete their immense contract in
the required time limit that more machinery was needed and so
put on another large steam shovel. The one put to work is a
shovel that the firm used on some heavy work in Montana, and it
was shipped from that state to Bayfield, from which place it
was taken across the country to the McDougall & Yale camp. This
shovel was taken across by the same methods as were utilized in
the first instance. It was placed right back of the camp, where
a large culvert has been put in and an immense fill is to be
made. It is located about 2,000 feet east of the place where
the first shovel is at work and over the top of the next hill
Mr. Yale stated to the Journal reporter this morning that about
300,000 cubic yards of dirt were to be removed and placed in this
fill and is the largest of the entire work.
Camp the Same
The life around the camp is about the same. There are nearly
a hundred men employed by this firm now, and the camp in which
they are housed and taken care of has been made very comfortable
While the bringing of another shovel brought about the employing
of more men in one direction, it removed a number of grading teams
and drag scrapers, which have been at work on the top of the hill
where the steam shovel is now at work. The contractor also stated
that this stormy weather made no difference and that no time has
been lost on that account.
12-14-01 BUYING OF RIGHT OF WAY FOR ROAD
THROUGHOUT MUSCATINE COUNTY
Was Done At an Expense of Almost Sixty Thousand
DollarsHas an Area of Nearly 250 Acres.
SOME CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS
Usually the Residents Along the Line Settled With
the Company Without Trouble and the General
Expression is That Fairness Existed on Both Sides
Few Curves and Gradual Grades.
Did you ever stop to think what an immense amount of work
is connected with even the preliminary plans for building a great
line as the Milwaukee is pushing through Muscatine? The road
having been laid out and the plans throughly perfected, the next
step is to secure the right of way. The owners of the land, of
course having become apprised of the fact that the railroad was
coming through their land, immediately began to think much and
seriously on the question of the price at which they should sell.
In a case like this the railroad company employs local
attorneys, who are acquainted with the facts and understand the
circumstances so that the land for the proposed route can be secured
at the lowest possible figure. However, the railroad company,
while always looking for a good bargain, pay pretty fair prices for
the land and grant concessions so that the people southwest of
Muscatine, who sold land to the Milwaukee company are pretty
well satisfied and not much complaint has been heard.
In some cases condemnation proceedings were necessary before
the land could be purchased. This was in cases where either the
owner wished too much for his land or there were certain damages
to asses, such as the removal of buildings or places where a great
inconvenience was experienced by the parties who sold the
land. In cases of this kind a jury was selected, who with
the sheriff went to the place and thoroughly examined into
the merits of the case and assessed the damages. This plan
was satisfactory to all concerned and the people who suffered
damages were well paid for their trouble.
One of the things noticeable in connection with this
work is the complete record that the railway people preserve
of the work and land bought southwest of town. For instance,
when condemnation proceedings were necessary an exact
plat of the land through which the railroad passed, showing
all of the gate and under crossings to be established and every
minute detail was arranged. This plat is on file at the court
house in connection with the condemnation proceedings, the
railroad company has a copy of it and if ever at any future
date, any trouble should occur, those interested have but to turn
to this very complete record for information and proof.
Immense Amount Involved.
The Milwaukee Railroad have an immense amount of money
tied up in land in Muscatine county. They have paid dearly for
the right of way, but there is no regret on their part for they had
set aside an immense sum to build this road and will not be balked
or interferred with in the least on account of ca few thousand
dollars. The Journal has made a careful study of this right of way
business and has discovered the fact that the immense sum of
$55,083.13 has been spent for land alone in Muscatine county. Some
of the land will average over a thousand dollars an acre, but of
course this sum also includes the damages assessed.
Borrow Pit Leases.
Another thing involved in this enormous sum is money paid for
what is known as borrow pit leases. In many cases the right of
way lay in such a place that an immense fill had to be made and
there was not enough land which the railroad company bought or
cared to use to grade off onto this big fill consequently they went to
the farmer owning this land and made a proposition to pay him so
much for the use of a portion of the dirt of his farm to grade onto their
land. In some cases this was a real benefit, and in other cases a
damage. The size of the amount paid for the leases will show whether
it was a detriment or not.
Louisa County Deeds.
But after an investigation of the matter the Journal has also found
that almost $10,000 has been spent in going through one corner of
Louisa county. The railroad people has not very much difficulty
in this vicinity because the people were ready to receive competing
road with open arms. The building of this road will be a great
benefit to the farms in the establishing of towns and better shipping
facilities for the shipment of stock and grain. With competing lines
they can get better service and better rates for the shipping in of
young stock and what grain that will have to come by that channel.
The Deeds Filed.
Following is a list of all the deeds filed in Muscatine and
Louisa county showing the location of the land and the consideration
| William Singleton, land in section 20, township 76, range 4
. $1,000.00 |
| Nancy Wagner and husband, land in section 19, township 76, range 4
. $ 78.00 |
| Cyrus Fry, land in section 24, township 76 range 4, also land in section 19, township 76, range 3
. $ 700.00 |
| J. J. Hintermeister, land in section 6, township 76, range 2
. $1,300.00 |
| William Harper, land in sections 20 and 21, township 76, range 4
. $1,300.00 |
| Margaret J. Tipton, et al, land in section 21, township 76, range 4
. $ 40.00 |
| David Meyer, land in section 21, township 76, range 4 .... $ 50.00 |
| Luther Colbert, land in section 22, township 74 range 4
. $ 500.00 |
| David Moyer, land in section 19, township 76, range 4
. $ 900.00 |
| Michael Byrne, land in section 23, township 76 range 4
| Henry Verink, land in section 23, township 76 range 4
. $1,000.00 |
| Eliza M. Cecil and husband, land in Section 18, township 76, range 3
. $2,300.00 |
| Maggie Hintermeister and husband, land in section 6, township 76, range 2
. $200.00 |
| Andrew Healey, land in section 10, township 76, range 3
. $1,700.00 |
| John O'Brien, land in section 17, township 76 range 3
. $500.00 |
| Patrick O'Toole, land in section 19, township 76, range 3
. $5.00. |
| Patrick O'Toole (borrow pit lease) land in section 19
. $52.50 |
| M. J. Shellabarger, land in section 18, township 76, range 3
| Adam Wigim, land in section Adam Wigim, (borrow pit lease) on land in section 11, township 76, range 3
. $61.00 |
| Isaac Lee, land in section 15, and 16, township 76 range 3 ...$3,000.00 |
| Abraham Smalley, block 20, lots 1 and 2, block 22 South Muscatine
. $200.00 |
| Musser Lumber Co. lots 1, 2, 3 and 5, block 18, and lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, block 19, South Muscatine
. $1,500.00 |
| Richard Milholin, lnd in section 16, township 76, range 3
. $1,500.00 |
| D. McCabe land in section 11, township 76, range 3
. $1,558.55 |
| John Gay, land in section 21, township 74, range 4
. $50.00 |
| Henry Westerman, et al, land in section 21, township 76, range 4
. $100.00 |
| Priscilla Hartman and husband, land in section 4, township 76, range 2
. $750.00 |
| David Vanatta, land in section 2, township 76, range 3
. $30.00 |
| David Vanatta (borrow pit lease) on land in section 4, township 76, range 3
. $5.00 |
| W. S. Hunter, land in section 24, township 76, range 4
. $1,00.00 |
| Wm. Verink, land in section 23;, township 76, range 4
. $100.00 |
| Sarah and Rilla Smalley, land in section 4, township 76, range 3
. $300.00 |
| W. D. Smalley, land in section 3 and 4, township 76, range 2
. $1,800.00 |
| Holland McGrew, land in section 11, township 76, range 3
. $850.00 |
| Mary Thompson, land in section 6, township 76, range 3
. $880.00 |
| Sidney B. Breeze, land in section 3, township 76 range 3
. $1,972.00 |
| Henry M. Funk, land in section 6, township 76, range 2 .... $3,500.00 |
| John M. Kemble, lot 4, block 18, in South Muscatine
. $185.00 |
| Adam Wigim, land in section 11, township 76, range 8
. $1.00 |
| J. J. Hintermeinter, land in section 6, township 76, range 2
. $1,300.00 |
| D. McCabe, land in section 11, township 76, range 3
. $1.00 |
| P. M. O'Brien, land in section 17, township 76, range 3
. $2,200.00 |
| James Healey, land in section 3, township 76, range 2
. $4,900.00 |
| Mary Fulliam and husband (borow pit lease) on land in section 6 township 76, range 3
. $1.00 |
| Walter J. Smalley by guardian, land in section 1, township 76, range 3
. $1,200.00 |
| Walter J. Smalley, by guardian, land in section 1, township 76, range 3
. $3,125.00 |
| Rosina Smalley, et al, land in section 1, township 76, range 3
. $1,200.00 |
| B. Wm. Verink, land in section 23, township 76, range 3
. $100.00 |
| Rosina Smalley, et al, land in section 1, township 76, range 3
. $3,125.00 |
| Mary A. Welch and husband land in section 19, township 76, range 4
. $1,350.00 |
| Mary A. Wehr (borrow pit lease) on land in section 19, township 76, range 4
. $50.00 |
| Chas. S. Millar, land in sectin 6, township 76 range 3
. $1,750.00 |
| Heirs J. T. J. Maxwell, land in section 21, township 76, range 4
. $70.00 |
| Matilda Vanatta et al, land in section 1, township 76, range 3
. $860.00 |
| Matilda Vanatta, et al (borrow pit lease) on land in section 1, township 76, range 3
. $250.00 |
| Boyd Holliday, guardian (guardian's deed) land in section 1, township 76, range 3
. $183.00 |
| Mira Hershey et al land in section 2, township 76, range 4
. $3,989.99 |
| W. R. Murphy, land in section 24, township 76, range 5
. $700.00 |
| David MxCullough et al, land in section 24, township 76 range 5
. $700.00 |
| John Butcher, land in section 28, township 76, range 5
. $200.00 |
| J. S. McKee, land in section 24, township 76, range 6
. $1,600.00 |
| W. I. Edwards et al land in section 29, township 76, range 5
. $300.00 |
| Mary E. Hendrixson, land in section 30 township 76 range 5
. $370.00 |
| Rose Loftus land in section 28, township 76 range 5
. $250.00 |
| Ely Reynolds et al land in section 29, township 76, range 5
. $500.00 |
| Isabelle and George Sweely, land in section 29, township 76, range 5
. $500.00 |
| W. R. and Racheal Carr, land in section 30, township 76, range 5
. $350.00 |
| A. and Emma Jay Drorbaugh land in section 30 township 76, range 5
. $150.00 |
| Susannah J. Smith and husband, land in section 26 township 76, range 5
. $250.00 |
| Z.L. and Sarah T. Edwards, land in section 26, township 76, range 5
. $250.00 |
| T. A. Selders and wife, land in section 26, township 76, range 5
. $400.00 |
| J. H. Brader, land in section 23, township 76, range 5
. $825.00 |
12-17-01KILLED ON RAILROAD
August Schmidt Run Over By Dump Car Train
HOME IS NOT YET KNOWN
Had Been at Work but a Short Time and Did Not
Recover Consciousness After the Accident Took Place
This morning at the railroad camp of McDougall & Yale, August
Schmidt, an employee was run over by the dump train and injured
so seriously that his death took place in about two hours. He
had been with them but a short time.
How It Happened
Schmidt was working on the grade with the dump train and at the
time the accident occurred, he was attempting to cross the track
in front of the dump train when in some unaccountable manner he
lost his footing and fell. The train was running slowly and was
stopped as soon as possible, but too late to save the unfortunate man.
He was so badly mangled that he died later. The train was
Backed up and the man picked up in an unconscious condition.
Dr. A. J. Oliver was summoned and upon examination found that the
Man had sustained a serious compound fracture of the left arm and
fore arm, all the ribs on his left side were badly crushed and a
serious wound was behind his right ear.
The unfortunate man never fully regained consciousness, therefore
nothing could be ascertained as to where he came from or whether
he had any relatives.
The firm had his name and knew him. He had been with them for
Only a short time, as he was picked up a few days ago. Where
He came from is not known.
Second Similar Accident
The members of the firm say that this is the second accident of
this kind that they have ever had while in the railroad business
and they do not see how it occurred.
The remains were brought to the city this afternoon and the coroners
inquest will be held this evening at the justice court of H. S. Howe.
12-18-01INQUEST WAS HELD
Over the Remains of August Schmidt Killed Tuesday.
NO BLAME WAS ATTACHED.
Coroner's Jury Exonerates AllEfforts Being
Made to Find Out where the Man Came From
No Clue As Yet.
The inquest was held Tuesday evening over the remains of
August Schmidt, the unfortunate man who was killed at the
McDougall and Yale Camp yesterday morning. The accident
happened at the dump just back of the camp where the largest
fill of the work is being made, and where a large culvert is
being covered. The smaller of the two steam shovels is at
work at this point. The place where the accident occurred is on
the land formerly owned by Chas. N. Rider, who sold the
property ot the Milwaukee company.
The inquest was held Tuesday evening in the justice
office of H. S. Howe at 7:30, the jury consisting of H. G.
Schoenig, C. F. Schoenig and H. S. Howe, Coroner E. R.
King having charge of the proceedings. The first witness
called was Albert Johnson. He testified that he was the
rear brakeman on the dump train which ran over Schmidt. He
did not see him fall but the man on the other end of the dump
train motioned to him to apply the brake, which he did as soon
as possible. The train only ran three or four feet. He helped
to pick up the man and carry him to camp. He had known
Schmidt a few days, Schmidt having been around the camp but
a short time. In his testimony he described the kind of brake
used, stating that it was a good strong one and that at the
time of the accident the train was not running as fast as a man
could walk. He said he had never heard Schmidt mention where
he came from.
Page 134Ohm Testifies.
Another laborer at the camp by the name of Albert Ohm
was called to the witness stand and stated that he was
coming toward the train, and saw Schmidt just as he fell.
He was about 200 feet from the accident, and said that
Schmidt was carrying coal to the steam shovel, that he
fell on the rails and appeared to be stunned. The car was
about ten or twelve feet from the unfortunate man, when
he slipped and fell, his head striking the rail . He said
he had known Schmidt a few days and had heard him speak
quite often of Quincy, Illinois and had never heard him
speak any German, but always English.
J. A. McDougall, of the contracting firm of McDougall
and Yale was called to the witness stand. He said that
Schmidt had worked for the firm but a few days. It was
Schmidt's business to carry coal to the steam shovel, which
necessitated him crossing the tracks of the dump cars. He
said that every car was equipped with good brakes and the
tracks were sanded and not icy at the time. The cars are
run down to the dump by gravity and pulled back by horses.
Mr. McDougall stated he was about 30 feet from the car
at the time of the accident but did not see the affair, but that the
train pushed the body of the unfortunate man along and did
not run over him. He helped to pick him up and carry him to
the camp where he died about 1:30 in the afternoon. Mr. McDougall
said he never told where he lived, but had heard the
men speak of Schmidt's home being in Quincy.
After the above testimony was received the coroner's jury
rendered the following verdict:
State of Iowa, Muscatine C o . , ss:
An inquisition holden on Dec. 17, 1901 at Muscatine, Iowa, in
said county, upon the body of August Schmidt, there lying dead,
by the jurors whose names are hereunto subscribed, the said
jurors upon their oaths do say: That August Schmidt came to his
death by being run onto by a dump train on the Rider farm. Seventy
Six Township, on the 17th day of December 1901.
In testimony whereof the said jurors have hereunto set their
hands the day and year aforesaid.Body Brought To Town.
H. G. Schoenig
C. F. Schoenig
H. S. Howe
AttestE. R. King, Coroner.
Constable Will Schoenig and Undertaker Rankin went down to
the camp yesterday afternoon, and took charge of the body,
bringing it to the undertaking rooms of Eb. Day, where it is now
being kept. Northing of any value was found on the person of
Schmidt and there are no means of identification, nor anything
to tell where he came from, or where he has a place to be called
home. Dr. Day telephoned to Davenport but could learn nothing
of the man at that place. There were cards found on him from
Davenport firms and it was thought some clue as to his identity
might be secured there. Mr. Day also telegraphed to Quincy,
but so far nothing has been heard from that city in regard to the
If nothing is heard from any of these sources and the body
is kept the required length of time, it will then be disposed of
at the expense of the county.
December, 1901 Annual EditionHOW THE WORK OF BUILDING A RAILROAD IS DONE.
First Man on the Scene Is The Engineer and the Last Is the Section
Man Who Comes to Stay After Hundreds have Prepared the Bed and
Put in Place the Rails.
IT REQUIRES GREAT CAPITAL
Machinery of Construction Set in Operation
Keeps Moving Until at Last the Plan is Complete.
One day last spring there stepped off the train in Muscatine
a small company of civil engineers. They had been sent here by
the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Company to survey
and lay out the shortest path for that great road through Muscatine
county. Their arrival occasioned some excitement among the residents
of Muscatine, though few knew their mission, but they have
added to the facilities of Muscatine a hundred fold and brought one
of the great trunk lines of the west into the city.
Engineers Begin Work.
They, having a map of the county, proceeded to the lower
limits of the city and commenced the task of laying out the line,
so that with the assistance of some of the prominent men of
Muscatine, the right of way could be purchased and the real
work begun. Two thoughts were in their minds. One, was the
shortest distance between two points; the other the most economical
plan by which the road could acquire the property and push their line
to Kansas City.
How It Goes.
Leaving the main line of the Chicago, Rock Island and
Pacific railway the line leads off to the right and then with
Ottumwa as the objective point, makes a "bee line" for that
city. Two surveyors laid their line across the flat and started on
the big hill just where the Burlington wagon road passes under
the proposed route. The line continues along the edge of the
bluff, steadily gaining a higher point until it reaches the Adam
Wigim farm, where a deep cut is made and it assumes the
level of the surrounding country.
The method by which the civil engineers work is interesting.
They first establish a base line of grade, far below any grade
that they may eventually establish. All surveys and measurements
are made with this invisible line as a base of operations.
They then establish their grade and taking the general topography
of the country into consideration they then mark along the way
the cuts and fills to be made. The operation is an interesting
one, but requires considerable skill and a level head.
The enginners completed their work and submitted a complete
copy of their surveys showing just almost exactly the amount of
work that will have to be done and a general estimate as to the
cost. From these surveys the plans and specifications were drawn
up and submitted to the board of directors and those in authority.
This department is one of the most important of all, for the
slightest error made on the part of these engineers may cost the
company thousands of dollars by the time the road has been completed.
Making the Contracts.
The plans and specifications having been approved and all
made in readiness, the various contractors over the country are
given the opportunity to bid upon the amount of work that they will
do. No one contracting firm attempts to take the entire amount of
work, that is the whole line from Davenport to Ottumwa, but the
route is divided into sections and bids made on those various
The Flick & Johnson company of Davenport, took the largest
amount of the work from Muscatine to Ottumwa, having a large
slice at each end of the line. They in turn sublet the districts to
other contractors, who took complete and entire control of that
portion and will push it to completion.
Page 138Important Matter.
The making of these contracts is a very important matter.
The contractors are put under bonds to do the work in a certain
time and the work must be up to the proposed specifications in
every particular. Of course, in awarding a contract of this
size both parties are after the best of the deal and each one aims
to gain an advantage over the other. In the meantime, representatives
of these contracting firms have carefully gone over the ground
and know just what has to be done, how much dirt has to be removed
and the necessary machinery to be used, the location of
the camps, the proximity of supplies, the cost of hauling working
material to the scene of operations and every detail that one can
possible imagine. They even take into account how many rainy
days they will be stopped by stormy weather and every minor detail
that one possibly imagines is taken into consideration when this
great contract is made. These railroad contractors are generally
old at the business, and although they assume an immense amount
of responsibility and take a risk involving thousands of dollars,
they generally in the long run make a good profit and although they
have vicissitudes almost innumerable, they are usually men who
are good in the matter of surmounting difficulties.
After the Contract Is Made.
The contracts all made, bonds all certified it was then up to the
contractors themselves. They came to Muscatine. They drove
down the right of way and made the necessary arrangements for the
location of the various camps and the arrangements for the provisions
for these camps as they will have a small army to feed and
plenty of provisions will be necessary. All in readiness, they commenced
to ship in their material and machinery and then establish
Camps are Established.
The first camps that were established on the work here were in
the field just across from the old creamery. Here were two small
camps, but were only there a short time, for these people had
comparatively little to do. Farther on down the road Mcintosh
Brothers, one of the sub-contracting firms have put up temporary
buildings and made everything in readiness for a winter camp and
early in November the men could be seen caulking up the cracks
and making the temporary houses warm and sufficiently tight to
keep out the chill of winter. Others have established small camps,
but the big camp of the entire work is In the valley right back of
the place owned by Joe Vannatta. Here along the bed of a stream,
an ideal place was found to put a camp. Easy of access, good
water near, close to the work, only five miles from town, it
seemed to be a place especially marked out for the location of
this monstrous undertaking. McDougall and Yale have settled
at this place and if one wants a glimpse of a modern railroad
camp, here it can be seen and this enterprising firm have established
a great reputation in the hearts and minds of the
people of Muscatine for their businesslike methods.
Down Town Offices.
But when a great railroad is building through a town offices
must be kept up in the nearest city of any importance. In this
case it is Muscatine and consequently there are a number of city
offices established. McDougall and Yale, Mcintosh Bros., and
the civil engineer, Mr. Scoffield, all have places of business here
in Muscatine, where they can be seen at all times of the day,
making the business methods easier and greatly expediting the
work. These offices are generally busy places and here is where
all of the books are kept and the business conducted with the
How Men are Secured.
But the next question comes up, how are the men for this work
to be secured. Although many Muscatine men received positions
and good employment at the hands of these contractors the greater
portion of them were shipped in. This system also is somewhat
unique. In the large cities -- Chicago, Omaha and others -- there
are to be found large employment bureaus of agencies. These are
established and kept up by the different contracting firms. A man
can go to any one of these employment agencies, pay $1 in money
and is given a pass over the railroad to the point where he will be
put to work.
Hundreds of Men Arrived.
The men are shipped in bunches of 25 or more, and it was not
uncommon sight this past fall to see anywhere from 25 to 50 men
to come off the afternoon t r a in or the night train, having been
shipped here from an agency of this character in Chicago. They
came in groups and slowly wended their way down to the camps
to which they were assigned. Not all went to work, but a majority
did, and those who preferred to remain idle either drifted to some
ether busy center or back to Chicago.
Other Men Came
While hundreds of men were shipped into Muscatine in this manner,
nevertheless a great number came on their own hook. The work
here was talked of by the knights of the road and other places so
that it became quite generally known that there was plenty of work
in this vicinity and so came to t ry their hand at it.
The contractors at these camps keep an accounting system with
each man, keep a check on his amount of work, how much time
he puts in and everything about him, until he draws his salary and
departs for greener pastures. The contractors feed the men and
give them lodging at the camps and charge them $3. 50 per week.
When a man arrives, his name is placed on the time keepers'
book and he starts to work. He is paid the end of the week, the
contractors keeping back the amount of his board. In this manner -
no man can "jump his board bill," but pays it in advance, that is
in advance of his pay. These contractors also keep several necessary
articles on hand in camp, such as mittens, heavy shoes, coarse,
woolen shirts, some underwear, socks, etc. , which are sold to
the men on the same principles as the board is paid. Tobacco is
also kept and from the general outside appearance and the contentment
that prevails throughout these camps southwest of Muscatine,
the workingmen appear happy and live very comfortably. Not a
one of them lack the necessities of life and all are well fed and
are paid wages so that they can afford to be comfortably clothed.
Men Have Families
Oftentimes some of the men in these camps have families in other
parts of the United States, where work is scarce and the head of the
house has had to leave his home and push out into the cold and heartless
world in order to make a livelihood to keep the wolf from the
door and his little ones from going hungry. You prosperous people
of Muscatine, who have your happy homes, and surrounded with
every comfort that a good income can bring do not know the hardships
that some of these railroad men have to undergo.
A Good Class of Men
The men that are employed on the Milwaukee southwest of Muscatine
area a pretty good class of men. No serious disturbances have been
reported from that district and the general order has been commendable
In some places Italians have been employed and some contractors
employ negroes, procuring them from the southern districts and
oftentimes the camps are hotbeds of crime and filled with objectionable
characters. But the contractors who have had the work near Muscatine
are fortunately men who believe in having a good class of workingman
and the consequences is that very little disturbance has resulted.
The First Work to Be Done
The first work to be done was to clear the land. Through a greater
portion of the route through Muscatine county there was a quantity
of wood land and this had to all be cleared before the graders could
go to work. Not only did the trees have to be cut down and the brush
burned, but the stumps had to all be grubbed out and the land made
ready for the plow, that would break up the earth so the wheel
scrapers and dumps could work effectively.
Houses To Be Moved
Along the line south of here, even houses had to be moved. In more
than one case the right of way of the great Milwaukee road rain through
a house or a barn, which either had to be moved or torn down. These
are many houses down on the Burlington road that have been moved
over and out of the way. The road, of course, paid all the damages
in cases like this, so the owner was only out the inconvenience and
was even well paid for that. After the land was cleared and the
buildings all out of the way the actual work of grading commenced.
How the Grading is Done
The grading stakes are first firmly fixed in the minds of the foreman
and these people direct where the teams will be put to work, where
the plow will work and where the scrapers will commence to remove
Take it along the flat just out of the city limits a grade of about
twelve feet had to be raised. The dirt was taken from along the
side of the right of way and dumped on to the proposed grade,
until it attained the proper height. The grades have to be at least
twenty feet across the top and slope proportionately to the bottom.
They must be firm, so as not to wash away, for this grade will
have to endure all sorts of weather and carry tons and tons of
weight, when the trains are started over it.
Piling Put In
This grade along the flat is all built on the plan described above.
But when the grade approaches a hill, then a change of tactics is
necessary. Some of the hill will have to be cut off and dumped down
into the low places. Where a condition like this exists or where a
stream has to be crossed a pile driver is put to work and immense
piles driven in and on these are built a trestle work. On the trestle
work is laid a track and the dump cars run out on them and the dirt
dumped out over the trestle, which is in time buried, but furnishes
a support for the grade.
The Heavy Work
But where the heavy work is done various kinds of machinery are
utilized to expedite and accomplish the large undertaking. Steam
shovels are used to dig into the sides of the hills and on top of the
hills, where they have to be cut down to any great extent a machine
called an excavator is used. This is an arrangement pulled by a
number of teams and scrapes up the dirt and throws it onto a wagon
that is pulled along by the side of the machine. The dirt is dumped
into the wagon, which on being filled is taken to the dump and unloaded.
While this machine does not remove such an immense
amount of dirt as a steam shovel, nevertheless it is a valuable
affair and a great time and labor saver.
Putting in the Bridges
Along with the grading there comes the great work of putting in the
bridges and culverts. Another class of contractors do this work.
The culverts are all made of concrete and will be put in as soon
as possible. This will hardly be before spring, as they have to go
in, when there is no danger of the mortar freezing before drying.
A great weight rests upon these culverts and the utmost care must
be taken that they a r e firm and secure. The Milwaukee road will
have one immense bridge to build. This is in Cedar township,
when they cross the Cedar river. This will have to be a large
iron structure of two or more spans and will require an immense
amount of work. Already preparations a r e in progress in that
vicinity, so that as soon as the river opens in the spring the
bridge can be put in and the grading of the approaches accomplish.
Track Laying Process
After the grading has been completed, the bridges all in, the
process of the last stage of laying the track is commenced. Ties
and rails will be brought and distributed along the grade. Good
foremen a r e necessary in this department. This is an important
matter and no mistakes must be made. On some roads a track
laying machine is employed, but it is generally thought here that
the work on the road southwest of here will use nothing but men
in this particular.
A Great System
In this line of the business a great system is employed. They never
spare the number of men and each man has just so much to do. In
first gang, there are enough men to lay the ties and a foreman to
direct the work. The ties all laid, right behind comes another gang
whose business it is to lay the rails upon the ties, and they are
superintended by a track layer of experience. Each man lifts a
certain portion of the rail and puts it in its place. After this body
of men comes the men with the connections and fishplates with
which to fasten the rails together and last comes the men to drive
the spikes. Each one of this last body of men has a certain spike
to drive in each rail and when he has accomplished that moves on
to the next rail and so on. With such a complete system as this
the track laying process goes forth with surprising rapidity.
Ballasting the Track
When the rails are all laid, there comes the men to ballast up
track and make it level and give it the firmness necessary for such
heavy traffic. Various materials are used for ballast. Some roads
use crushed stone, others cinders and others sand, and still others
red clay ballast. The greatest principle in this line is to have some
material that will not shift, but remain firm and stand the test.
And so a great railroad is built. The engineers take their part,
then the contractors, the graders, the bridge builders, the tracks layers
and all of the necessary workingmen to push the great
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad across Muscatine county.
How many will think of this vast amount of work, when they lean
back in the rich upholstery of a Pullman and speed toward Kansas
City at the rate of 50 miles an hour.
Annual Edition, 12-1901LABOR-SAVING MACHINERY USED IN CONSTRUCTION.
Something of the Wonderful Steam Shovel
Purchased Especially For this Work.
IT WEIGHS ABOUT FIFTY-FIVE TONS.
It cost $7,000.00 and Can Do the Work of 200
MenWas Taken Seven Miles Across the Country
Other Machinery Used is of Large Dimensions
One thing to be noticed more than any other at the scene of
the great railroad work on the Milwaukee is the labor saving
machinery that has been put into use. One not acquainted
with the manner and methods of railroad construction and who
does not take the vast amount of labor saving machinery into
consideration would actually think that the construction of this
road within a year would be well nigh impossible. Thousands
and thousands of yards of dirt have to be moved and this done
with the smallest number of men with the greatest amount of
It is this labor saving machinery that causes the immense
expense in the contracting business. When the energetic firm
of McDougall and Yale undertook the vast contract that they have
south of this city, they came to the realization of the fact in a
very short time more machinery than they possessed at that time
would be required. Negotiations were at once opened up with the
Bucyrus Manufacturing Company of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for
the purchase of a gigantic steam shovel with which to burrow through
the great hill and bluff that was in the contract of this firm.
A Heavy Expense.
A few days before the arrival of this monster which would take
the place and do the work of probably two hundred men, Mr. Yale
stopped a Journal reporter on the street and showed him a
bill for $7,000 from this South Milwaukee firm, for this
steam shovel, pictures of which are to be found on these
pages. That is enough to buy a Muscatine county farm.
said he to the reporter. It takes money to push these things,
but the profits are large.
The Bucyrus Company.
The firm from which this giant piece of machinery was
purchased is one of the largest and most extensive in the
manufacture of machinery of this character. They are the
designers and builders of steam shovels, dipper dredges,
elevator dredges, hydraulic dredges, railroad wrecking
cranes, and placer mining machines. They are located at
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but have offices in Cleveland,
Ohio and New York City. They are an immense firm and
their equal in the construction of machinery of this kind is
not to be found in the world.
Various Sized Shovels.
The smallest shovel that this great company makes is
one weighing about 12 tons. This is used in cities, where
the work is not very heavy for grading and paving. The
next largest is the 35 ton machines, which are employed
in the heaviest work to be found in placer mining or railroad
construction. This 95 ton machine has a car over 40 feet
in length. The size of the cylinders of its main engines is
14X16 inches. It is equipped with a locomotive boiler with a
diameter of 66 inches and a length of 14 feet and three inches.
It is a monster piece of machinery and does the work of
hundreds of men. It has a five yard dipper with a clear
lift from rail to the bottom of the dipper door when open of
17 feet and can make a cut at an elevation of 8 feet, 54 feet
The Machine Here.
The machine used here on the work below the city has
the enormous weight of 55 tons. The car on which it is placed
is nearly 40 feet in length and ten feet wide. The main
engines have 10x12 inch cylinders and the diameter of the boiler
is 54 inches and is over 12 feet in length. It has a clear lift of
over 12 feet and the width of the cut at an eight feet elevation
is 50 feet. It is equipped with three different engines, all
supplied by steam from the same boiler.
How It Works.
This massive piece of machinery works into a bank, commencing
at the side and working its way through. If the cut
is to "be deeper one than the machine can make, the shovel
makes another trip up through, and gradually cuts its way
down to the established grade. On the work at the Adam
Wigim farm southwest of Muscatine, a 44 foot cut is to be
made and the shovel will have to make two trips through this
stretch and farther on, there is another place, where the
cut is nearly as deep. At the present time it is on the second
Three Men Required.
To run the machine itself, it requires but three men. The
fireman to keep the steam up to the proper notch, the engineer
who has levers and valves galore and one would think could
use a dozen hands, and the craneman who works out on the
crane, or projecting long arm, that can be seen in the pictures.
The engineer and the craneman are paid the best of any men on
the work, and must have a clear head and thoroughly understand
the machine, they have in their charge. The most of the responsibility
rests with these two and they receive ample remuneration.
Shovelers and Helpers.
Of course there are more than three men at work in connection
with this piece of machinery. There are about twenty shovelers
and helpers, who assist in changing the jackscrews and the rails
when the machine is moved forward, and also keep the dirt away
from the track upon which the cars run.
How a Lift is Made.
The engineer swings the crane around to the proper place, when
the first shovel is to be taken out, letting the dipper down to the
bottom of the pit. Then starting the various engines and
the craneman starting or stopping the thrusting engine as
he deems necessary, the large dipper plows its way up
to the top of the enbankment, being full by the time it
has reached that position. The engineer than swings the
dipper and crane around to the track, while the craneman
with his eye guages it until the dipper is over the car, when
he pulls a rope releasing the bottom of the dipper and letting
the contents drop into the car. The string of cars is moved
along and the operation repeated until the train load is
filled, when it is run down to the dump and emptied. The
work appears quite simple when looking at it but its quickness
and capacity for work depends entirely on its management and
system. The system used here is a fine one and one would
be surprised at the rapid progress made in the few months.
When one of these dipper fulls is emptied it takes three
cubic wards of dirt, an amount which would take shovelers
some time to accomplish.
Has a Nick Name.
But this big piece of machinery has a nickname that is
expressive and to the point. When it first came into use,
Irishmen were employed all over this country in the construction
of railroad and the removal of large quantites of dirt. When
the steam shovel put in an appearance nearly all of these sons
of Erin were forced to seek other employment. It then received
the name of "Big Mike" from the fa et that it could do the work
of about 200 Irishmen.
The shovel is on a set of tracks like a railroad car, and the
crane is removed and the rest of the outfit placed in a train,
and thus moved from place to place. But down here they had a
proposition with which to contend by the moving of this machine
across the country seven miles. The machine was taken to Letts,
and from there was taken across the country to the place where
they are now working. A track was laid in front of the shovel and
taken up as fast as it had passed by. When it has finished its
work south west of Muscatine, it will be taken out on the new
road itself. Mcintosh Brothers also have a shovel to work near
here and this was transported at the same time as the new one.
But other machinery is used in the construction of a railroad.
There are the various kinds of dump cars, dump wagons, graders,
etc. A great deal of the work is done by the ordinary wheel
scraper, but there is also a machine used on the side of a hill,
where there is not such a large amount of dirt to be removed that
is very interesting. It is called an excavator and is manufactured
by the Austin Manufacturing Company of Harvey, Illinois, a suburb
of Chicago. This machine is pulled by four teams of horses and the
dirt is plowed up and carried by a system of endless chains to the
level of a dump wagon and dumped into the box. The dump wagon
is driven along the side of the machine, and as fast as one is
filled there is another to take its place. Three or four of these
machines are used on the work.
Will Work All Winter.
So briefly is described the various kinds of heavy machinery
used on this work. The contractors will work all winter, for with
this equipment, front has no terrors. That shovel has been used
on ground and work far heavier than the frost laden clay of Muscatine
Page 150THE DOUBLE TRACK
Work Between Muscatine and Davenport
Being Pushed Slowly
A BIG CUT AT WYOMING HILL.
The Heaviest Work on the Double Track
Will Fall About Six Miles Above Muscatine
Work Will Be Done Slowly.
The work of building a double track between Muscatine
and Davenport is an important but a comparatively small
part of the task necessary to accomplish before the Milwaukee
railroad will be running trains through Muscatine.
In building, this doubletrack there is practically only one
feature of any special difficulty and that is a great cut
which will have to be made in Wyoming Hill to allow room
for another track. The rest of the work is comparatively
easy and a small force of men is taking its time at it.
They Traded Tracks.
As has been explained in another part of this paper,
the arrangement whereby the Rock Island road builds a double
track between Muscatine and Davenport and allows the Milwaukee
to use it is one of mutual benefit. By granting this
concession the Rock Island themselves are given the privilege
of using for the B. C. R. & N. a stretch of Milwaukee track
running unto the city of St. T Paul. It would of course be
impossible for the two great lines to use only one track between
here and Davenport and thus it was necessary for a double track
to be constructed. With its own splendid train service on the
Kansas City division the Rock Island, including their freight
business, almost monopollizes the single track now and with
the additional trains which the Milwaukee will put on it would
be utterly impossible to get along with only one track. In fact,
the double track will doubtless be taxed to the utmost capacity.
Are Working Slowly.
The work on the double track has been underway for some
weeks but it is being done very slowly and in easy stages. As
yet there has been only a comparatively small force of the regular
employees at work. Of course, it is not necessary to have the
work completed until the Milwaukee line is done and as that is
expected to take fully a year there is plenty of time for this
work to be pursued at easy stages. With a small force of men
doing up the work gradually it can be finished by the time the
Milwaukee will be ready to use the line.
What Is Being Done.
The heaviest piece of work on the double track is the cut
which it will be necessary to make at Wyoming Hill, about
six miles above Muscatine. At the point as the great bluff
runs right up to the river and when the present track was built
there was only enough cut away along the edge to make room
for another track. This means a good many square yards of
earth, as the bluff is very high at this point, and it will also
have to be cut for some distance. A steam shovel is now on
the ground and the work is quite well under way in the hands
of a small force.
Elevated Tracks in Davenport.
The Rock Island road is now building elevated tracks
through the city of Davenport. It is also building a handsome
new depot about a block south of the old one. In pursuing all
this work it will of course be done to accommodate the double
Some grading has also been done along the line between here
and Davenport. There are several places where it will be necessary
to do slight grading for some distance. The ties are all on the ground
and there is no doubt but that the rails will be laid in some places
at an early date.
May Continue Double Track.
The construction of a double track between here and Davenport
may mean a double track Over the Rock Island road to Kansas City
before long. The Rock Island is double tracking nearly all of its
line through Iowa and many think that in constructing this double
track the road is just beginning a double track all the way to Kansas
City which will be probably pushed to completion in the next year or